AVS Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've looked around quite a bit for some basic guidance on how to start building a quality audio system. I'd like some general insight on some of the following:


Guidlines on how to allocate my budget. I've come across various theories in the past, but I haven't found anything comprehensive in the past week of looking.


What is the story with integrated amps versus receivers? From what I understand, to achieve high quality one cannot use a receiver. Why is this? What are the fundamental differences between amps and receivers? My understanding is that receivers are capable of doing what amps do (amplify a signal) along with receiving AM/FM and switching video components? Is there something more to it?


I am also under the impression that there are not any amps/receivers that are truly good for two channel listening but are also capable of processing 5.1 sound. Is this more or less true?


How do I construct a system that does stereo very well but can be modified to handle 5.1 sound in the future?


If I were to go about the process by gradually incorporating audiophile grade components into an existing system, where is the best place to start? I have been planning to start by replacing my vintage Rectilinear monitors but perhaps there is a better approach. After that, my next step would be to replace my Pioneer Dolby Pro Logic A/V receiver with an integrated amp or a modern receiver.


I would like to use bookshelf monitors for my mains. Where can I look for a good list of obvious candidates? So far I've been considering the Sonus Faber Concertinos, the Kef XQ1's, and the Dynaudio Focus 140's. I'm not sure if this is a good cross-section to choose from or just scratching the surface. My present listening environment is pretty spacious, but I plan to have my speakers a lot longer than I stay in my apartment. I'd be willing to spend up to $2000/pair for new speakers or ...


I'm strongly considering going with used speakers to get more bang for my buck. Is it a mistake to purchase used speakers and forfeit the right to audition them in my home (along with taking on the risk of buying used equipment from an unkown)?


I understand that most of these questions are probably opening up a can of worms that requries more than a brief summary to address, but I would very much welcome any and all discussion of (and outside resources dealing with) conventional wisdom and contrarian viewpoints.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,189 Posts
If I was putting together a 2 ch only system as my primary system. I would do the following:


- make a list of your listening preferences and priorities and rank them: e.g. low/med/high volume levels, soundstage, crisp mids and or highs, warm sound, full bass extension, phase coherent etc

- look at your current room and future room and put down the dimensions and volume

- make a list of functional preferences, easy to use, easy to place, balanced connections, built in DACs etc, do you require a tuner etc

- put together a total budget (you didn't mention sources)

- try finding some pieces of equipment that meet the above criteria and audition it


I would spend the most money on the speakers, then room treatments then electronics. I would say there are many decent 5.1 receivers that sound good like the Panasonic's, NADs, Rotels, Arcram etc. If you buy just two speakers, I would ensure that in the near future you can get a matching set or at the very least matching centre. So I would look for brands that have longevity. For example, my speakers have remain unchanged for about 5 years until recently. Good speakers are good speakers. I wouldn't get caught up too much on the flavour of the day. PMC and Totem are two speaker companies that I can think off the top of my head that rarely change their designs. If they do it is a small tweak.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,118 Posts
zEli173:

I think Eric's advice is quite good. I would offer a bit more abstract rule of thumb: Speakers and amps don't change much while source components (including pre/pros) change frequently. So, careful investments into speakers and amps is a good long-term strategy. Listen to different speaker/amp combinations - audition, audition, audition.


Used gear from Audiogon (for example) is a good way to try out equipment because you can turn around and (usually) get most of your investment back if you don't like it. I would recommend that you talk to the person selling over the phone and have a couple of good questions to ask. If the person is clearly a "fan" of good audio and a reasonable person, you will be able to tell that quickly.


Good luck and above all, have fun!
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top